Michigan Women Forward (MWF) has hired Maggie Toole as a business development officer who will be responsible for the overall execution of microlending efforts in the Thumb Coast region. This follows the Community Foundation’s recent $250,000 investment in MWF to be available for local microlending.
“Women entrepreneurs face many barriers including insufficient financial support and gender bias,” said Alexis Dishman, chief lending officer for MWF. “As a representative of our organization, Maggie will engage women in this community to help them get the support and funding they need from our Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.”
Toole will report directly to Dishman, as well as work in conjunction with the Community Foundation to develop and maintain relationships within the community.
In addition to focused efforts to connect with women entrepreneurs, Toole will also build relationships with local minority-owned businesses to help them have access to financial support needed.
Toole, a Port Huron, Michigan resident, brings more than 10 years of business management to her position at MWF. Before joining the organization, she worked in office management, financial institution and commercial real estate positions. Toole studied at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron.
Toole understands the obstacles entrepreneurs face when starting a business and knows the personal satisfaction of self-made success. She knows that ultimately the highs of business ownership always outweigh the lows and wants to help others reach their goals as well.
“Maggie will be instrumental in building technical assistance and loan programs for St. Clair County entrepreneurs,” said Nicholas DeGrazia, Community Foundation finance and investment committee chair. “We’re excited to work alongside her to help those without access to traditional funding support their business, and ultimately, grow the local economy.”
Toole will work with applicants throughout the microloan process customizing the level of assistance needed to each business. St Clair County based businesses looking to apply or find more information are encouraged to go to the MWF MicroLoans website at miwf.org/wei/mwf-microloans/
MWF was founded in 1986 by 20 extraordinary visionaries who conceived of an organization that would encourage women to play an active role in philanthropy and governance. MWF is a community development organization whose mission is to expand economic opportunity, empower the next generation and celebrate and honor the accomplishments of Michigan women. For more information, visit miwf.org.